How to Beat Daylight Savings and Adapt to Time Change

Sarah Morgan, M.S. Clinical NutritionNov 04, 2022

Daylight savings is here.

It’s time to turn your clocks back.

While some of us barely even notice the change in time on our phones, others may experience extreme fatigue, trouble concentrating, disrupted sleep and cranky kids around daylight savings.

Why?

Clocks aren’t the only things that run on a 24-hour schedule. Every single one of your 30 trillion cells operate on a 24-hour schedule, carrying out different functions at different times of the day. This is part of the circadian rhythm: our sleep-wake cycle.

Whether our schedules shift due to travel or daylight savings, there are a few practical steps you can take to help regulate your internal clock and adjust to time change faster. These tips are not only helpful for adults but also children that tend to really struggle with time change, so keep this tips in mind for the little ones in your life too.

Tips to help your internal clock adapt faster include:

Get morning sunlight

Photoreceptors in your brain perceive sunlight and stimulate cortisol. Getting 5-10 minutes of direct sunlight in the morning helps your body produce adequate cortisol to feel alert and ready for the day.

Consistent Eating Schedule

Stick to a consistent meal time to stabilize blood sugars, insulin levels and avoid a spike in stress hormones. Focus on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and nutrient-rich vegetables.

Exercise Timing

New research shows exercising before 7AM or between 1-4PM advances your circadian clock forward where individuals feel more refreshed and ready to take on tasks the next day. Exercise helps with the release of serotonin, neuropeptide Y and melatonin and regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Get your kids up and moving before school + an afternoon playtime.

Dive into Darkness

Modern world leads to darkness deficiency with excessive artificial lighting from TVs, computers, phones, tablets, and indoor lighting. Your body needs darkness to produce your sleep hormone, melatonin. Make your home darker 2 hours before bed by dimming lights and reducing screen time.

The Mighty Melatonin

Using small doses of supplemental melatonin at 1-3mg can also help to shift your circadian rhythm faster. This strategy also works for children; consult your pediatrician about a proper dose.

Remember, it’s all about Rootine. Our bodies love consistency.

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